The Spanish march gives a historic recital in the European Cup of Alytus
Two gold medals in the 20km tests rounded off the best performance of Spain in the history of the European Cup of march, disputed in Alytus (Lithuania), where there was a Spanish presence in all the podiums. For the first time in the history of the tournament, Spain as a team climbed to the podium in the six categories: gold in 20 km men and women, silver in 50 km men and women, silver in 10 km sub-20 men and bronze in 10 km sub -20 women
There were no individual Spanish victories, but the team endorsed its status as the European power of the march. Laura García Caro, second in 20 km, and Raquel González, third, put the finishing touch on the test that closed the program.
García-Caro, a fantastic idyll with the European Cup
The Italian Antonella Palmisano, bronze in the London World Championship 2017, put a demanding pace from the second kilometer and went forward a few meters, pursued at first by María Pérez, who had to cease her efforts to take refuge in the group. The Grenadian, current champion of Europe, had measured her strength badly. With gastric problems and some fever the night before, shortly after lost contact with the persecutors.
Palmisano covered the 5 km at 22:19 and stayed single up, with 14 seconds of margin at that point. The group had been reduced to six, including Raquel González and Laura García Caro. Halfway through the race, the fugitive, with 44:40, had 20 seconds of margin with the group, led by Raquel, who went resolutely in search of her and passed her at km 14, taking with her the Lithuanian Zivile Vaiciukeviciute, bronze in the European sub-23.
The Huelva García Caro came from behind to form a trio at the end with 5 km to go, but gave in soon after. It seemed that the triumph was a matter of two, Raquel and Zivile, but the Barcelona entered a crisis 2 km from the end and ended up yielding the second place to Garcia Caro. The Lithuanian won with 1h29: 48 and had Spanish escort: Laura was second with 1h29: 55 and Raquel third with 1h30: 17. María Pérez arrived eleventh with 1h34: 08.
Diego García-Carrera leads the 20km men
Two hours before, the team led by the Madrid-born Diego García Carrera -third- revalidated the gold medal in the men's event, in which the Swedish Perseus Karlström won. The superiority of the Spanish team, with three athletes among the top six, was overwhelming. Spain achieved its sixth title with 14 points, ahead of Great Britain and Ukraine, which tied at 38 but prevailed the best position of the first British qualifier, Tom Bosworth (fourth).
Bosworth went ahead in the first kilometers, pursued by the German Christopher Linke, who served as liaison with the first group, in which they traveled Diego García, Álvaro Martín and Miguel Ángel López. By the 10km the British (40:11) had thirteen seconds on the Italian Massimo Stano, who was already leading the chasing group of seven.
At 15 (1h00: 23) Bosworth's advantage had been reduced to five seconds over the first group, from which Miguel Ángel López, individual winner in 2015, had taken off, the year he later obtained the world title in Beijing. Only one km later, Garcia had stayed ahead with Perseus Karlström, bronze in the previous edition, but the Swede did not stop in his attack and ended up taking down the Spaniard.
As in the last round of the IAAF Challenge, on April 20 in Michoacán (Mexico), Perseus was the strongest. The Swede toured the last meters touched with the viking helmet and won with a time of 1h19: 54. Behind, at 24 seconds, the Russian Vasiliy Mizinov, who competes as a neutral with authorization from the IAAF, ahead of Diego, who made third with 1h20: 23.
The European champion, Álvaro Martín, qualified fifth with 1h20: 59, just ahead of Miguel Ángel (1h21: 00), while Luis Alberto Amezcua came in 32nd with 1h27: 26. In the morning, Julia Takacs had been second in the 50 km test with a new Spanish record (4h05: 46), behind the Italian Eleonora Giorgi, who made the European record (4h04: 50).
Best National Brand of Takacs
Takacs, who won the bronze medal at the European Championships in Berlin last August, now lowered in six minutes the national record set three months ago at El Vendrell by Raquel González with a time of 4h11: 01, and is ranked fifth in the world list of all time. The Portuguese Inés Henriques, with a time of 4h13: 57, completed the individual podium.
The ninth place of Ainhoa Pinedo (4h21: 07) and the tenth of Mar Juarez with personal mark (4h24: 35) also contributed tosecond place in Spain by teams with 21 points, second only to Ukraine (18) In the 50km men's test, Yohann Diniz, world champion and 50km world record holder, returned with victory to the competition, two years after his world gold in London.
García Bragado, fifteenth with almost 50 'tacos'
Diniz, 41, carried out his usual tactic of leaving ahead from the start and ended up winning with a time of 3h37: 43, the new record of the continental tournament. The superiority of French was overwhelming. Second place qualifier, Belarusian Dzmitry Dziubin, crossed the line eight minutes later (3h45: 51), followed by Portuguese Joao Vieira (3h46: 38).
The Madrid native José Ignacio Díaz, eighth with 3h52: 00, was the best of the Spaniards. Eight years older than Diniz, Jesús Ángel García Bragado, world champion in 1993, competed for the tenth time this time in the European Cup, a competition in which he won three gold medals (1996, 2000 and 2001) and two silver medals. (1998 and 2009).
Bragado, who will compete 50 years in the Doha World Cup in October, was the second best Spaniard, fifteenth with 3h57: 51, ahead of the Spanish champion, Marc Tur, who finished 20th with 3h59: 59. By teams Spain won the silver medal, behind Ukraine.